Encounters with the Orient in Early Modern European Scholarship

We’re pleased to announce the launch of a new joint research project – ‘Encounters with the Orient in Early Modern European Scholarship’ (EOS) funded by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) under the scheme Cultural Encounters. An associated conference will be held to launch this project on the 16th November in Leiden, which will be convened by Jan Loop – for registration details, please see http://400yearsarabic.weebly.com/learning-arabic.html.

EOS has been awarded nearly € 1M over three years, starting in September 2013. The project involves 6 academic and 3 non-academic partners, in the UK (Professor Charles Burnett, Warburg and Dr Jan Loop, University of Kent), Germany (Professor Bernd Roling, FU Berlin, Professor Martin Mulsow, Erfurt University, Literaturhaus Berlin), The Netherlands (Professor Gerard Wiegers, University of Amsterdam, Leiden University library, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden), and Finland (Professor Outi Merisalo, University of Jyväskylä). CHASE/The Warburg Institute is the Lead Institution. The project was one of 16 successful applications out of ca. 600.

 The Collaborative Research Project is lead by Professor Charles Burnett and Dr Jan Loop, and it aims to document the scholarly encounter with the Orient between 1580 and 1800. It will 1) describe how the exchange of knowledge and of ideas between Europe and the Orient was organised and structured, 2) follow and compare the conceptual transformations which this encounter has initiated in Biblical studies, the study of religions, in the teaching and learning of Arabic and other Oriental languages, in literature and poetry, and in historical and anthropological thinking, and 3) document the change from a religious to a cultural perspective on Oriental societies. The project will fund a series of conferences, exhibitions and workshops over the three-year period.

 The project start-date was 5 September, 2013, and it was launched with the opening of the exhibition 400 Years of Arabic Studies in the Netherlands at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden. (http://www.rmo.nl/english/), which is partly funded by HERA. On 16 November 2013, an international symposium will be held at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden on The Learning and Teaching of Arabic in Early Modern Europe http://400yearsarabic.weebly.com/learning-arabic.html